Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Audition: “Southwest” @ RMB Casting.  This was fun, not sure how great I was, but I had fun.

Audition: “McDonald’s @ RMB Casting.  I didn’t actually have an appointment for this one, but while I was waiting for my Southwest audition, the session director asked if I was ready to go in…for the McDonald’s one.  That told I was “right enough” for it.  So I very nicely asked if I could read for it.  I had a great time with my fellow actors, but I could tell that I was too old for it.  The other guys were in their early/mid 20’s.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Audition: “Courtyard” @ Spot Casting.  Eh, I’m not so sure about this showing, but maybe the powers that be will feel a bit different.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Audition: “Slim Jim” @ Francene Selkirk Casting.  Not sure I nailed it, but it was a fun spot and a good time in the room.     

Audition: “Ally Bank” RMB Casting.  I’m perfect for this!  I should book this spot everyday of the week!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Audition: “Samsung” @ Alyson Horn Casting.  I used to audition at this office regularly, but I haven’t been here in a good while now and I’m glad to be back…  I just wish the audition would’ve gone better.  Oops.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Today I arrived in the Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for the wedding of a friend.  Wow, this is what I needed to take my mind off of the “situation” with my father, my career, my night job, the suicide manifesto, etc.  

This wasn’t so much a planned trip, but it sure was the right trip and at the right time.  I had been wanting to venture down to the Caribbean for a long time to “see the blue water” and it’s totally worth it.  

We’re staying at a 5-star, all-inclusive resort called The Majestic Elegance.  I’ve definitely never experienced anything like this before.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

This morning I received an interesting email.  It was a group email that included 11 other people that I didn’t know.  It was from a guy that I met years ago while doing casting director workshops.  A really, really nice guy in my experience, but I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in just over 10 years.  He was no longer pursuing a career as an actor and had moved on to becoming a photojournalist.  He often traveled to poverty stricken locales and took the most beautiful photos.

I had reached out to him about 5 years ago, just to check in on him to see how he was doing.  He responded, we caught up through email and that was that.

The email I received today almost seemed like his account had been hacked so I only “sorta” paid attention to it.


The second line in the message read as follows: “But if you are receiving this now, it means that I am dead.”

Yeah, that’s exactly what it said.  I needed to get out of the house for an audition, but it stayed on my mind.

Audition: “ProActive” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  This was a fun audition, but at the same time I don’t think it went so well for me, go figure!  I don’t know, I just don’t think I was fully getting it. 

When I returned home I looked at it again and it started to haunt me.  It was suicide letter.

He included a link to the information he wanted us to have.  Part of me didn’t want to click on it, but I eventually did.  At first it didn’t seem to work, but I later realized that it was taking so long because there was so much content to be downloaded.  The package included photos, text messages, emails, audio recordings and 585 pages of written text.  Yeah.  Seriously.

Needless to say, I was shocked.  I didn’t know this person really well outside of seeing him at acting workshops, but to me, he seemed like a great guy.  I couldn’t figure how or why I was included in the group email.  It put me in a really dark place for so many reasons. 

Obviously, I haven’t read hardly any of the manifesto yet, but, in a nutshell, this is what he says happened.    Basically, he was a child actor and according to him, his parents used his earnings from aged 5-11 for their own personal gain to purchase real estate.  He says he was abused verbally and physically by his parents and sexually by a school official.  He says nobody stood up for him, even people that were supposed to by law.

So he spent the last 5 months of his life putting this package together to distribute to everyone possible.  I later found out that he also sent it to the police before taking his life along with the lives of his parents.

Yeah, it was murder-suicide.

I’m speechless.  I just don’t know what to say.  I really don’t.  I can’t imagine how I ended up on a list of people to include in this.  I literally hadn’t spoken to him in more than 10 years.    

If interested in more of what took place you can do an internet search of “suicide actor Las Vegas parents manifesto”.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Well, well, well, guess who called me this morning?  On purpose.  My father actually picked up the phone and called me.  I admit that I was excited to see his name and number pop up on my cell phone.  It was my father!  Actually calling me!

At first, by the tone of his voice, he actually sounded like he was going to apologize to me.  That excitement didn’t last too long.  He quickly normalized himself and was on the extreme defense. 

He said that in our previous “conversation” I didn’t mention my mother’s role in the dysfunctional household.  That wasn’t true; I did mention my mother.  I mentioned her so much that he commented that I seemed to understand her more than even he did.  He predictably, conveniently forgot that. 

Things got heated as he denied pretty much everything I said in our previous talk.  Again, I told him that I expected him to deny and I was not offended or surprised by it. 

Believe it or not this went on for 5 hours and 48 minutes.  Much less pleasant and the call ended by the signal dropping.  I’m not sure if it was him or me, but neither of us made the effort to call back and continue the call.

What a way to end the week.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I can’t say that I expected this to happen today.  What, you may or may not be asking?

My father called me.  Yeah, my very own father called me on my cell phone.

Actually, much more accurately, he called me by accident.  How do I know that?  Well, a great indication was that when he asked, “Who’s this?”  When I answered with my name, (my government name, “Bryan”), he asked, “Bryan who?”  Again, I paused, took a deep breath and said, “I’m your son”.  I’d say that’s a pretty good indication of whether or not he knew whom he had called…by accident. 

Both of us were in a group text sent by one of my older siblings.  Obviously, the other phone numbers in the group text message had my siblings names attached.  Also, it was obvious that my name/number is not in my fathers phone.  This fact does not surprise me.  So, I guess he was curious as to whom the orphan number belonged to…  ”Orphan”, funny enough, is pretty accurate as to how I feel about the situation as a whole.  My mother passed in 2002 and my father has never had a nice thing to say to me.

Early on in the “conversation”, I thought I was going to have to hang up on him and get on with my day.  I didn’t want to do that, but we’ve never had a meaningful conversation in my life and I didn’t feel I had much to lose.

He settled down a bit, lost the attitude and we ended up talking for 5 hours, 29 minutes and 48 seconds. 

Yeah…almost 6 hours.  I’ve never had a normal conversation with him in my entire life.  He’s the type of person that HAS to be in charge, so he kind of “talks at” people versus having a dialogue with them.  That wasn’t going to happen with me today as I very willing and very ready to end the call.

For decades I’ve had people that know a little about the “situation”, tell me that I need to sit down and “write him a letter” to him…even if I don’t mail it.  Honestly, I never saw the value in that, but maybe I’m an idiot. 

It wasn’t a great conversation in that I didn’t really learn much about him, however, I got say a lot…and I mean a whole lot.  Much of what would have been in “the letter” had I written one.  It didn’t land too well as he denied most of it, but I was very calm and self-assured.  I told him that I expected him to deny the things he said to me and that I wasn’t offended by it.    

I also got a chance to thank him for the things that I am thankful for.  I was never hungry or cold, ALWAYS knew where “home” was and grew up in a great neighborhood.  It was a highly dysfunctional household, but it was home and I had a lot of fun with my mom and some of my younger siblings.  I am thankful that he made a conscious decision to not raise us in my parents’ hometown of Chester, PA.  I will never marginalize the importance of that and I will ALWAYS appreciate it.

When we finished the call things were civil between us, still guarded, but civil nonetheless.  A small victory, maybe? 


This man has NEVER, one single time, called me since I moved from Virginia Beach to New York and eventually Los Angeles on May 9th 1995. 


I spent years trying to be a “good or decent son” and I would still call him during the holidays and on his birthday, but in the Summer of 2003, after him, once again, being nasty to me on the phone I said that I was done.  It was just too painful for me and the only thing I was getting out of it was heartache and confusion.  I could not understand why this man has such a distain for me.

I didn’t forget about him.  I would always ask my brothers how he was doing.  Always.  Do I love him?  In theory I love my father, like in a fantasy type of way, but I don’t live in a fantasy.  I don’t know him to love him and I certainly don’t have a shred of evidence to say that he loves or even cares about me.  Honestly, I truly feel as though I am dead to him.        

Will we speak again?  I honestly have no idea.  Not.  At. All.  Kinda sucks…

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shooting: “Dell” @ Universal Studios.  I had a great day on set with director, Ace Norton and fellow actor Benny Wills.  Benny and I auditioned together at the callback and I have to say that it felt like a little bit of magic happened in the casting office that day.  He was absolutely fabulous to work with for the shoot as well!    

Expectantly, we had a great, short day on set.  I was even released just in time to make it to my audition back in Hollywood.

Audition: “Samsung” @ Alyson Horn Casting.  Hmm…too bad.  I used to audition at this office quite frequently, but not so much in recent years.  It was great to be back, but I wish my performance would have been better.  Oops.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Wardrobe fitting:  I don’t think I’d ever seen an ad agency/client/creative team happier with my wardrobe.  I was in all purple and, I agree, that it looked pretty good!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

So I wake up late morning (result of the overnight shift) and see a 33 second voicemail message from, Jamie, one of my commercial agents. 33 seconds is a good amount of time because it gives her plenty of time to say, "Congrats Stephon! You booked the so&so commercial! Your director is, the dates are, your fitting will be, the rates are, etc.

Instead it went like this:

The first 9 seconds were asking if I was available for a POTENTIAL wardrobe fitting on Monday the 25th between 1pm-4pm.

Okay, check...I can do that, I can be there.

Seconds 10 thru 15 were asking if I was available for a POSSIBLE shoot on the 27th or 28th.

Okay, check...I can do that, I can be there.

Seconds 16 thru 22 were informing me that if I was available for a POTENTIAL wardrobe fitting on Monday the 25th between 1pm-4pm and a POSSIBLE shoot on the 27th or 28th.

They would…offer and book me on the job.

Seconds 23 thru 33 summarized the info and requested that I call Jamie. I called and informed her that,
I can do that, I can be there.

I just love being a part of the team @ KMR & Associates! Thank you Alicia, Jamie, Val, Joe & Elizabeth!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Callback: “Dell” @ Lisa Fields Casting.  More fun in the room at the callback and they paired me up with another actor for a different spot in the campaign.  He and I worked GREAT together!  Fingers-crossed!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Audition: “Dell” @ Lisa Fields Casting.  This was fun AND I think I performed well.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Audition: “Fortune Cookie” @ RMB Casting.  This was just weird.  I was to portray a producer in the rap music world.  Good luck Stephon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Audition: “Switched at Birth” Deedee Bradley Casting.  This didn’t go to well.  I was ready when I got there, but something happened when I opened my mouth.  That “something” wasn’t good…  I was surprised that Deedee seemed to remember me from way back when I met her in a casting director workshop.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Audition: “Time-Warner Cable” @ Francene Selkirk Casting.  I had fun in the room, but I’m not sure I’m the right guy for the spot…good thing I’m not the one making that decision.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ironically, today is my father’s birthday.  Ha!  I was trying to figure out if I had the balls to risk calling him to wish him a happy birthday.  Sounds simple enough, but it’s something I hadn’t done since 2003. 

I ended making the call and…I survived.  I didn’t say much, other than “Happy Birthday”…no exclamation point, lol!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

So my younger brother Todd and I drove up to Pennsylvania together for my aunts funeral.  As usual, it was a good drive, just he and I, catching up…like brothers should.

I hadn’t been to the city, Chester, Pennsylvania, that my parents grew up in, in many years and, unfortunately, it hadn’t really changed too much.  It brought back a lot of memories, good memories, but it also brought out a different, adult perspective. 

My stomach was in knots…completely.

I hadn’t really seen or spoken to my father since mid 2003 and I expected that he’d be in attendance.  We parked the car and walked around to the entrance, which was at the back of the building and there was family everywhere. 

Then I saw my father.

I was paralyzed.

I didn’t know what to do, fortunately there were many other family members around that I hadn’t seen in years so I greeted them.

I knew, eventually, I’d have to approach and get in the space of my father…  Well, I guess I didn’t “have to”, but it is what was going to eventually happen.  Trust me, I get no pleasure out of not having a caring father, so I’ll eventually “get in his space” and see what happens.

So I went over to him. Paused, took a deep breath.  I felt like I needed to take a shot of liquor, ya know, something you do to help you get through a situation or a task that you’re dreading. …I’ve never had a shot of liquor, but this might’ve been a good time to start.

There he was and I said:

Me: Hi, how are you?

Him: (Quite warmly) Hey!  Who are you? 

Me: Bryan. (My government name)

Him: Bryan?

(Really, really uncomfortable pause…at least for me.  I doubt it was uncomfortable for him.

Me: (Sigh) I’m your son.

Him: Bryan?  That’s you?

He made small talk, complimented me on my suit.  I just kind of mentally faded away.  I mean, I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t recognize me, but the actual reality of experiencing my own father not recognizing me was…well, it’s tough to take.

Anyway, so I floated around in a bit of a fog until we all went entered the church for my Aunt Barbara’s service.

It was great to see so many extended family members.  It was good to see all of my siblings too.  We hadn’t all been together since my mother’s funeral November 2002. 

After the church ceremony we all traveled to the cemetery.  My father rode in the limousine with his 4 remaining sisters.  After the lowering of Aunt Barbara’s casket, my father rode back to the church with myself and my younger brother Todd.  I sat silently in the back seat of the car and just listened to my father, sitting the front passenger seat, talk.  He was telling a story about something my little sister, Avis, had done.  It was a funny story…because my little sister is hilarious.  I wasn’t ignoring him, but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything to him, so I just took it all in…and recorded him on my phone.  I figured that one day, in the future I might want to know what his voice sounded like and if I ever have children, I’d probably want them to know as well.

When we arrived back at the church for dinner he asked me how I was doing, I answered, and he exited the vehicle.            

After dinner I took a lot of photos and made sure I got one of him and all of his children together.  It was a nice time.  I didn’t have any direct, one on one, interaction with him, but that was okay because I was still quite nervous about it.

After that, we left the church to visit another cousin on my mother’s side of the family that resides in a nursing home.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I’m heading home today and will most likely see and maybe even talk to my father for the first since late June 2003.  I’m incredibly unsettled and nervous about this…